The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)



Etiquette mavens say the book on manners must be rewritten, literally, to take into
account new technologies and social media (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)

A 2012 survey by Intel found that in several countries, a majority said they were put
off by "oversharing" of pictures and personal information on the
internet and smartphones (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Friday, December 31, 2010

NASA Signs $2.5B Contract With HP

Mashable, December 31, 2010

NASA has just signed a huge contract with Hewlett-Packard for IT goods and services.

The $2.5 billion, 10-year deal includes computer networks, hardware, software, peripherals and “everything that’s plugged into the wall,” as NASA spokesperson Michael Sweigart told Bloomberg.

HP is taking over many services currently provided by Lockheed Martin.

Hewlett-Packard has had an interesting year, one perhaps most significantly marked by a CEO-shakeup saga. In early August, HP ousted then-CEO Mark Hurd following sexual harassment claims. Shortly after Hurd’s firing, he was hired as Oracle’s new co-president.

Still, while the company’s leadership saw some big changes, it finished the year strongly, reporting decent fourth-quarter revenue growth. We’re sure a hefty contract from NASA will help the company’s financials as well as help direct attention away from CEO issues and toward what looks to be a promising new year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

China's online population hits 450 million

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Beijing | Thu, 12/30/2010

China's number of Internet users - already the world's largest - has risen to 450 million this year, more than a third of the country's population.

A senior Chinese official says that official statistics show that the new figure, as of the end of November, is an increase of 20.3 percent compared to last year.

China's boom in Internet usage has come with the growth of an equally extensive policing system, from technical filters that block sites based on certain words to human monitors who scan bulletin boards and micro-blogging posts for political dissent.

Wang Chen, head of China's State Council Information Office, says a yearlong government crackdown on pornography, violence and other harmful material has resulted in the shutdown of 60,000 websites.

China Steps Up Crackdown on Internet Phone Services

Jakarta Globe, December 30, 2010

Beijing. China has pledged to restrict Internet phone services -- a move that could affect thousands of businesses and individuals making cheap calls via web-based communications companies such as Skype.

Sign outside Skype Technologies SA's offices. Only major,
state-owned Chinese telecommunications operators are licensed
to provide Internet phone services in China.
"We are carrying out with relevant authorities a campaign to crack down on illegal Voice over Internet Protocol phone services", the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a circular posted online earlier this month.

In the brief notice, which did not offer details on the crackdown or a timetable for shutting down 'illegal' services, the ministry listed a telephone hotline for citizens to report any violations.

The ministry declined to comment immediately when asked for clarification of the policy by AFP on Thursday.

The Beijing Morning Post on Thursday however quoted vice-minister Xi Guohua as saying only state-owned major Chinese telecommunications operators were licensed to provide Internet phone services linking telephones and computers.

Communications between computers (PC-to-PC) are open to all service providers, Xi said.

That means some PC-to-phone services provided by firms including Skype, which are popular in China due to their low rates as compared with the country's major telecoms firms, could be banned under the ministry's new rules.

For example, Skype users pay just 0.19 yuan (three cents) per minute to call a landline number in the United States, while the same call on China Unicom would cost at least 2.4 yuan per minute.

UUCall, a homegrown Skype-like service which calls itself "the first Chinese Internet phone brand", was shut down in October 2009 on suspicion of operating illegal web phone services, the report said.

It resumed business in February after moving its domain name to Hong Kong, it added.

Critics have said the government move was meant to protect state-owned Chinese telecom operators, according to various domestic media reports.

Other reports said it may be aimed at stemming rampant phone scams under which thieves use web-based phone services to defraud consumers, changing the call origin number to pose as bankers, police or government officials.

Officials at Skype, which has 23 million users worldwide, were not immediately available to comment on the issue.

AFP

Beacon of Light January 2011 - New Body Electrics (The Group channeled by Steve Rother)

New Body Electrics - A Physical Evolution

I went into this channel with very little direction as to what this was to be. I know we would most likely talk about the physical body changes and much of that has been up for me lately. I have been having strange problems, like killing batteries in remote controls, many human interfaces do not seem to work for me, especially electrical ones. For a person in the Audio Video world this is very challenging. Sometimes the computer works and sometimes it does not, and forget about touchpads!

When the group started this channel I had no idea that it would mean so much to me personally. They led you through several days of my life that were very confusing. This channel explained and tied together several of the groups more important messages for all of us and for me personally they explained what I have been experiencing in my own world. There were two different points during the channel that they had to calm me down as I was getting so excited at the revelations I was seeing. I will explain it more in detail at the next VirtualLight Broadcast but these odd electrical events in my life seem to have rhyme and reason after all

I believe that the information contained in this single message will be cornerstone information that we become important to all of us in the near future.

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. We consider you family and appreciate the opportunity to greet you in this way.

Very Big hugs
Steve Rother





Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Banks attempt to suppress maths student's exposé of chip and pin

The Independent, By Richard Garner, Education Editor, Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cambridge computer scientists have become embroiled in angry exchanges with Britain's banks and credit card lenders, accusing them of bullying and trying to "censor" a PhD student who was exposing flaws in chip-and-pin machines.

Omar Choudary, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge;|
right, his supervisor, Professor Ross Anderson who
researches glitches in chip-and-pin banking
A leading Cambridge academic has now written to bankers' representatives demanding that they stop pressing for the removal of a student's doctorate work from the web.

Professor Ross Anderson, from Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory, has previously researched glitches in chip-and-pin banking that allow withdrawals to be made from accounts without needing to know the holder's PIN. As part of his thesis work, one of his students, Omar Choudary, exposed how easy it was to make such a withdrawal.

Then the UK Cards Association, a trade body representing leading banking organisations, approached the university asking it to remove the thesis from his website, which is accessible through a university site.

Melanie Johnson, who chairs UKCA, argued that the web publication "oversteps the boundaries of what constitutes reasonable disclosure" by giving too much detail on how the chip-and-pin system could be breached.

Professor Anderson said her request "showed a misconception of what universities are and how we work... You seem to think that we might censor a student's thesis – which is lawful and already in the public domain – simply because a powerful interest group finds it inconvenient," he said.

"Cambridge is the university of Erasmus, of Newton and of Darwin. Censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values."

He added: "I have authorised the thesis to be issued as a computer laboratory technical report. This will make it easier for people to find and to cite, and will ensure that its presence on our website is permanent." He rejected her allegation that the student was encouraging fraud by giving details of a blueprint for a device which is alleged to exploit a loophole in the security of chip-and-pin technology.

In her letter, which was sent to the university's head of communications, Ms Johnson also claimed that the police had expressed concern that the student was "allowed to falsify a transaction ... without first warning the merchant".

Professor Anderson said the transaction had been carried out with the consent of the card owner, adding: "At no time was there any intent to commit fraud; the [card owner's] account was debited in due course ... and the merchant [from whom he had purchased goods] was paid."

He added: "You complain that the work may undermine public confidence in the payments system. What will support confidence in the payments system is evidence that the banks are frank and honest in admitting weaknesses when they are exposed, and diligent in affecting the necessary remedies.

"Your letter shows that ... your member banks do their lamentable best to deprecate the work of those outside their cosy club and indeed to censor it."

Professor Anderson told The Independent: "Everyone in the university is behind us on this one. The thesis was on Omar Choudary's website and there is no way we can allow this to be censored."

He added that only Barclays had taken action to rectify the problem since the potential for abuse was exposed by researchers on a BBC Newsnight programme several months ago.

No one was available for comment at the UK Cards Association yesterday. The organisation allows membership to anyone responsible for at least 5 per cent of credit transactions.

Security flaw: The £20 device developed my Mr Choudary
could be used to buy goods without entering a PIN code


Related Article:

Vladimir Putin Orders Russian Government to Switch to Free Software by 2015

Mashable, Dec 2010

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a government order that lays out the groundwork for the transition of federal bodies and agencies to use free software, including Linux, by 2015.

The 25-point document (available here) outlines specific steps the government must take in order to move off proprietary software and onto free and/or open source alternatives like Linux. The government order was approved on December 17 and affects all federal agencies of the federal budget.

Each point of the document names the specific action that must be taken, the agency responsible for implementing that order, the time frame for implementation, and the expected result. For example, one point instructs Russia’s Ministry of Communications to form “the base package of free software solutions for typical problems of the federal executive bodies,” with the expected result a free package of software that includes operating systems, drivers and application software for servers.

Another order calls for “creating and maintaining a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power,” while another requires “the development of departmental plans to move to the use of free software, including plans for transition of subordinate budget institutions.” The final order, to be implemented in Q3 2015, calls for “preparation of the draft orders of the Government of the Russian Federation on the adoption of a phased introduction of free software for the next planning period.”

Russia has been moving in the direction of free software for the past few years. In 2008, the government ordered schools to implement free software packages in all of its computers. Schools that now want to use proprietary software have to pay for it out of their own pockets.

[Source: CNews via Open...]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Big Cake Named Indonesia

Tempo Interactive, Thursday, 23 December, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Never underestimate Indonesia. It is true that the internet connection in Indonesia is not as good as in Singapore, Malaysia or even Vietnam. But Indonesia is a “sweet cake,” attracting big players.

Yahoo!, in cooperation with TNS (Kantar Media), Nielsen and Synovate, for the second time announced its Net Index Study in South East Asia. Net Index 2010 is used by entrepreneurs to look at business opportunities in every country based on internet users’ growth.

They concluded that Indonesia is the biggest market with the highest growth in South East Asia online market. In 2009, the growth was only 22 percent, meanwhile this year it has reached 48 percent.

As a consequence, internet stalls have lost its customers because people start to access the internet through cell phones. Yahoo! recorded that in 2009, 83 percent of internet users used internet stalls. This year the number has declined to 64 percent.

Meanwhile, according to IDC NMMM, Indonesia has about 25.4 million internet users. In 2009, from that amount, 63.4 percent accessed it through mobile internet. This year it had reached 69.3 percent. Next year, the number is projected to increase 73.2 percent.

FIRMAN

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wal-Mart invests in Chinese e-commerce firm

Reuters, SHANGHAI | Fri Dec 24, 2010

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, has invested in China's top online seller of consumer electronics and communication products, in a push to extend its reach to more Chinese buyers.

Chinese online business-to-consumer (B2C) company 360buy Jingdong Mall secured $500 million in funding from six strategic partners, including Wal-Mart, a 360buy spokeswoman said on Friday.

Wal-Mart's investment amount was not disclosed but the company has been eager to tap into the pocketbooks of China's burgeoning middle class, and earlier this year launched in China an e-commerce site for its Sam's Club warehouse stores.

"It's a smart move for them (Wal-Mart), because 360buy, in my opinion, is one of the best B2C online companies in China today," said Michael Clendenin, managing director of RedTechAdvisors, a technology research firm.

360buy Chief Executive Liu Qiangdong told a press conference on Thursday that the funds would be used to build logistics centers in China, local media reported.

China's massive e-commerce market is highly fragmented and competitive, where 360buy battles Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group and E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc for dominance. 360buy had 14.1 percent of China's B2C market in the third quarter while Dangdang had 3.7 percent, according to data from Analysys International.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee and Jerry Huang; Editing by Chris Lewis)


Related Article:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Are You Still Using These Obsolete Things?

Jakarta Globe, December 23, 2010

Over the past 10 years, a variety of gadgets and gizmos such as iPods, Twitter and Blackberry smartphones were created.

With each creation, a new way of life was born and an old one died, including the VCR and phone calls. Yes, phone calls.

Here's a list of 10 things that became obsolete this decade according to The Huffington Post:
  1. VCR and VHS tapes. They became obsolete in the early 2000s, five years after the DVD was invented.

  2. Travel agents. With the birth of so many travel sites, fewer people go to travel agents to plan itineraries or book tickets.

  3. The separation between work life and personal life. Smartphones, ultralight laptops and wi-fi enable people to work outside the office.

  4. Forgetting. The Web saves digital copies of everything we do.

  5. Bookstores. More and more people buy books online and the digital version of books or e-books.

  6. Watches. It is still a symbol of style or status, but for practical purposes the watch has been replaced by cell phones or laptops.

  7. Maps. GPS devices on smartphones and laptops have replaced actual maps.

  8. Calling. Instant message services and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have taken over verbal communication.

  9. Classifieds ads in newspapers.

  10. Dial-up Internet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Venezuela tightens internet regulation

Antara News, Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Caracas (ANTARA News/Reuters) - Venezuela`s parliament approved tighter regulation of the Internet on Monday in the latest of a package of laws to entrench President Hugo Chavez`s socialist "revolution" before a new Assembly is sworn-in next month.

Members of his ruling Socialist Party say the move brings South America`s top oil producer into line with international norms for policing the Web. But opposition politicians say it is aimed at stifling dissent.

It followed a more controversial vote by the National Assembly last week that will allow Chavez to bypass the next parliament and rule by decree for 18 months.

The former paratrooper turned populist leader says he needs the wide-ranging powers to deal with a national emergency caused by floods that have killed 40 people and driven nearly 140,000 more from their homes.

But the decision was denounced by furious opposition parties due to take 40 percent of seats in the Assembly beginning on Jan. 5, as well as by the U.S. State Department, which accused Chavez of finding "creative ways" to justify autocratic powers.

The Internet bill approved on Monday prohibits online content attacking "good customs," disrespecting public officials or inciting violence against the president.

Many of Venezuela`s lively news forums operate without a moderator or editor filtering out extremist or vulgar content.

But the bill has concerned some free speech activists, who have drawn comparisons with how China and Cuba police the Web.

Under the new regulations, all Internet traffic is supposed to pass through a single, government-controlled access point, stoking opposition fears about surveillance and censorship.

Lawmakers who promoted the bill had argued that it would make the Internet faster. But it was not clear how the government planned to undo the communications architecture already in place, or even whether it was technically possible.

Related Article:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sohu signs exclusive China portal partnership with Unilever

TMCnet.com, BEIJING, Dec 20, 2010 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Chinese internet portal Sohu.com Inc.

(SOHU.NASDAQ) said that it has partnered with Unilever to be the latter's only portal cooperator in China, reported news.ctocio.com.cn on early Monday.

According to the report, Sohu will provide the world leading consumer goods producer with multiple media platforms including videos and micro-blogging. 

On the other side, Unilever will take advantage of Sohu's media channels to speed up the online marketing of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in 2011.

The report citing Alan Jope, Chairman of Unilever China, said that the company is likely to double its investment in internet next year, despite the 2010 budget already up 400 percent over 2009. (Edited by Duan Jing, duanjing@xinhua.org)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Age no longer much of a digital dividing line, says Pew

CNN News, By Amy Gahran, Special to CNN, December 17, 2010

New research from Pew indicates that older people are
becoming about as skilled online as younger ones.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New research from Pew focuses on generational trends in the digital world
  • Research found people 74 and older have the fastest growth in social networking services
  • Internet users aged 34 and older are more likely to engage in several common activities

Editor's Note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for CNN.com. She is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and media consultant whose blog, Contentious.com, explores how people communicate in the online age.

(CNN) -- It's often assumed that older people generally aren't very digitally savvy -- but new research from Pew indicates that older people are becoming about as skilled online as younger ones.

According to the 2010 Generations report from the Pew Internet and American Life project, "The biggest online trend (we found) is that, while the very youngest and oldest cohorts may differ, certain key internet uses are becoming more uniformly popular across all age groups."

The study found that internet users aged 34 and older are more likely than those age 33 and younger to engage in several online activities, including visiting government sites and getting financial information online.

These online activities are becoming more uniformly popular across all age groups: e-mail, search engines, getting health information, following the news, researching or making purchases (including travel reservations), online banking, supplying reviews or ratings, donating to charity, and downloading podcasts.

And get ready: Your grandmother might soon try to friend you on Facebook.

Even though younger people are significantly more likely to use social networking services, Pew reports that "the fastest growth has come from internet users 74 and older: social network site usage for this oldest cohort has quadrupled since 2008, from 4% to 16%."

Some online trends are creeping down the age ladder, too. According to Pew, it used to be mostly older adults who searched for online health information. But now this has become "the third most popular online activity for all internet users 18 and older."

Wireless net access is definitely not the exclusive province of youth. Like the recent iPass mobile workforce study -- which put the median aged of a mobile-enabled worker at 46 -- Pew found that 55% of people aged 46-55 access websites or other digital media or services via a laptop, cell phone, or other internet-connected mobile device. That figure drops to 46% for people aged 56-64, and 33% for people aged 65-73.

The bottom line is, don't assume you know how digitally savvy someone is based on their age. That octogenarian sitting across the Starbucks from you might be using Firesheep to sidejack your Facebook account right now.

Israeli companies outsourcing to Palestinians


HOD HASHARON, Israel (AP) — Within the pastel walls of a modest suburban office, Israeli high-tech workers have accomplished a feat that still eludes their political leaders: They have created a partnership with the Palestinians.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be stalled, but that hasn't stopped a small but steady trickle of Israeli technology companies from seeking to work with people on the other side of the decades-old conflict.

Israeli CEOs say it's their way of bringing a little bit of peace to their troubled corner of the world. But the real reason they're hiring Palestinians, they acknowledge, is because it simply makes good business sense.

Israel's high-tech industry is among the country's crowning achievements. Israel has the most start-ups per capita in the world and has helped produce such game-changing innovations as instant messaging and Internet telephony. Many Israeli tech firms send work offshore to eastern Europe, India or China.

In the past three years, however, some have turned to Palestinian engineers and programmers. They are cheaper, ambitious, work in the same time zone, and — surprisingly to many Israelis — are remarkably similar to them.

"The cultural gap is much smaller than we would think," said Gai Anbar, chief executive of Comply, an Israeli start-up in this central Israeli town that develops software for global pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Teva.

At a previous job, he worked with engineers in India and eastern Europe, but found communication difficult. So in 2007, when he was looking to outsource work at his new start-up, he turned to Palestinian engineers.

He said they speak like Israelis do — they are direct and uninhibited. Today, Comply employs four Palestinians.

Palestinian engineers have also warmed up to the idea. "I doubt you would find a company who says, 'I am closed for business'" to Israelis, said Ala Alaeddin, chairman of the Palestinian Information Technology Association.

If there is hesitation, it's in marketing Israeli products under a Palestinian name to tap into larger Arab markets off-limits to them. "We're looking for a partnership ... not one side benefits from the other side," Alaeddin said.

"We have a window of opportunity to demonstrate our skills," said Murad Tahboub, CEO of Asal Technologies, a Palestinian outsourcing company that works with Comply and a handful of other Israeli-based companies. "The more people know about us ... the more comfortable they will be in doing business with us."

This is easier said than done. Comply's office in Hod Hasharon is only about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Asal Technologies in the West Bank city of Ramallah — but they are worlds apart.

Israel's military prevents most Palestinians and Israelis from visiting each others' cities without special permits, citing security concerns.

A network of fences and concrete walls divides Israel from the West Bank, built by Israel earlier this decade amid a wave of Palestinian attacks. Travel restrictions make meetings between Israelis and Palestinians rare, and psychological barriers separate them as well.

Anbar says his company is proving skeptics wrong. One recent morning, Israeli project manager Gali Kahane chatted online in English with Palestinian programmer Mohammad Radad, sending him smiley emoticons while reviewing updates to the database software they are developing.

"At first it was a little bit strange" to work with Palestinians, but now it's like working with any other Israeli developer, Kahane said. "We are very curious what they think about us," but they never talk politics. "The only thing we talk about is when the bugs will be finished, and reaching our deadline together," she said.

Anbar says working with Palestinians is "doing something good for the world we are living in," but says the real reason he outsources to the West Bank is financial: He pays the outsourcing company about $4,000 a month per engineer, half the cost of outsourcing to an Israeli company.

While Indians or Chinese engineers cost even less, he said Palestinians are more loyal to his company than workers from distant countries — and have a dogged work ethic. Many gained experience working abroad, and stiff competition for coveted engineering jobs in the West Bank pushes those who have work to prove themselves, Tahboub said.

About 10 Israeli start-ups and international companies with centers in Israel have been outsourcing to the West Bank in the past three years, said Tova Scherr of Mercy Corps, an international aid group working to encourage these ventures. Scherr said visits by Israeli businessmen to Ramallah — with Israeli military permission — are becoming more common.

Networking giant Cisco says it was the first international corporation with research and development centers in Israel to begin outsourcing work to the West Bank. Israeli branches of Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have followed Cisco's example and begun to outsource to the Palestinian territories this year, according to Mercy Corps.

Arranging meetings is "sometimes like crossing the Red Sea," said Cisco spokesman Gai Hetzroni.

Last year's initial meeting of Palestinian and Israeli engineers was meant to take place in the West Bank city of Jericho, but an Israeli military closure forced the workers to drag their laptops into a nearby Bedouin tent they rented for the day. Hetzroni said it was an "extraordinary meeting" that convinced the firm to go forward with the partnership.

Word of the West Bank's potential is spreading: Tahboub of Asal Technologies said he received about 20 inquiries this year from Israeli companies.

"We are doing great work for our country," Tahboub said, referring to the yet-to-be-born Palestinian state. "I believe the (technology) sector will become one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy."

Related Article:

"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

PM: WikiLeaks has not broken Australian law

Rohan Sullivan, Associated Press, Sydney | Fri, 12/17/2010

Police in Australia have concluded that WikiLeaks and its Australian-born founder Julian Assange have not broken any laws in his home country by publishing classified US documents, the government said Friday.

The finding has no direct bearing on investigations in the United States into the original leaking of the thousands of classified diplomatic documents to Assange's organization, or the sexual assault allegations for which he is wanted in Sweden.

But it will come as good news to Assange, who has complained of persecution by the Australian government over the publication of the documents, which have outraged Washington and been condemned by the United States and its allies.

Assange has not said he wants to return to Australia, though his mother and son both live in the country.

The government said last month it had ordered Australian Federal Police to determine whether WikiLeaks had broke any Australian laws by publishing the US cables. Reports of documents obtained by WikiLeaks have included classified reports from the US Embassy in Canberra to the State Department.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday said the police had now reported back to the government.

"The advice is that there has been no breaches of Australian law," Gillard told reporters.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland gave a little more information, saying in a statement that, on the current information available, police had not identified any criminal offenses within Australia's jurisdiction so no formal investigation had been launched.

Gillard again condemned WikiLeaks for publishing the documents, saying it was "grossly irresponsible." The government has said publication of the internal documents could harm relations between governments.

She said whoever leaked the documents to WikiLeaks had clearly broken US laws. She said that theft was appropriately being investigated by US authorities. Australian officials have said they are assisting US authorities in that investigation.

Assange was released on bail Thursday from a London jail, where he was being held in connection to the Swedish sexual molestation allegations. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, but has said that he is concerned that if he goes to Sweden he may eventually be sent to the United States on charges related to the leaks.

No such charges have been laid, but US officials are investigating whether Assange could be charged in US court under the Espionage Act or face other crimes - such as theft of government property or receipt of stolen government property.

The US government suspects WikiLeaks received the documents from an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in the brig on charges of leaking other classified documents to the organization.

Related Article:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Aussie launches 'business version of WikiLeaks'

News.com.au, by Jane Lee, December 16, 2010

  • Aussie retailer launches Tradeleaks.com
  • Users post anonymous tips about dodgy firms
  • Information on website is unreliable, says critic

AN AUSTRALIAN online electronics retailer has launched what he calls the business world's answer to WikiLeaks.

The site allows internet users to post documents and tip-offs
about dodgy business practices anonymously / File
The site, Tradeleaks.com, allows internet users to post documents and tip-offs about dodgy business practices anonymously. Users can then rate and comment on the reliability of each leak.

Twenty-eight year old Ruslan Kogan, who featured on this year's BRW Young Rich list with a wealth of $29 million, made Tradeleaks.com available this morning.

A few hours after the website went live, there were ten allegations posted on the site about a mix of businesses and retailers.

'Fan' alleged that Foxtel* has an internal policy to offer one month’s free service to customers calling to "disconnect" their cable TV subscription.

Anonymous claimed that in his or her experience working at a "big TV retailer", he or she will: "play with the color (sic) settings on the TVs to ensure that the TVs that will earn us the most commission look better than the others."

"MY ADVICE TO CONSUMERS: If you are ever in a store buying a TV, ensure that you set all the color settings to "Factory Default" when comparing," said the post.

Mr Kogan said he hoped the site would eventually be filled with trade secrets and eventually become "bigger than WikiLeaks."

Mr Kogan denied that the website is an attempt to grab publicity for himself and his other businesses: "Someone could go on and post something [negative] about Kogan or my other business interests - we’re going to be judged on our transparency too… if it was [a publicity stunt] we’d put the Kogan logo on it."

"It's going to create a better shopping environment for consumers," Mr Kogan said.

"What this does is put all of the [internet’s business rumours and tip-offs] in one place; you're giving people one central place to say: 'I've worked here and here and they made me do this behind closed doors'," he said.

Mr Kogan said users can "post a leak" on the site directly in a system that will regulate itself, amid critics' warnings that there is no guarantee the information posted on the site is true or that its users’ personal details will be protected.

The site, which does not require a user name or evidence to back up claims, asks only that people "post credible information, including source documents where possible, which they believe consumers need to know."

"We put the power in the consumers’ hands, we let people decide what’s relevant and what’s not, whether they believe it or not..." he said.

"We’re not policing it and will only remove posts if they’re defamatory…you can post anything you want."

Asked what sort of security the site provided tipsters, Mr Kogan replied: “We’ve got legal firms and teams and we won't put up with personal attacks on anyone.

"We're encouraging people to provide evidence about claims - whatever they have we encourage them to upload it."

'This is no WikiLeaks'

Paul Ducklin, the head of technology for technical support firm Sophos' Asia-Pacific region, said that the website is no different to millions of existing internet forums that expose businesses to the risk of being slandered and their users to the risk of being identified.

"It is possible in all of this that innocent people could get slandered or libelled," Mr Ducklin said.

He contrasted Tradeleaks with WikiLeaks, which has a team of experts that decide when and whether to publish confidential information it has obtained.

"You have absolutely no idea who’s behind [the information on Tradeleaks], no indication of what’s going up and what’s not, there is no privacy policy," said Mr Ducklin.

"There's almost an anti-guarantee that people can post anything and we’ll publish it.

"[It's almost as if they are saying:] 'We don’t care what it is, we just ask you not to put naughty stuff up and it's up to others to remove it.'"

*Foxtel is owned by News Corporation, which is the parent company of the publisher of news.com.au.

Related Article:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook named Time's person of 2010

BBC News, 15 December 2010

Related stories

Time magazine has picked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as its annual Person of the Year, the figure it believes had the most influence on events in 2010.

Mr Zuckerberg was the subject of the 2010 film The Social Network
The 26-year-old billionaire was the subject of a 2010 film, The Social Network, charting Facebook's rise.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earlier won a Time readers' poll on 2010's most influential person.

The annual feature has been a fixture since the 1920s, with the winner appearing on the front cover of Time.

Runaway success

Time managing editor Richard Stengel said Mr Zuckerberg's social networking service was "transforming the way we live our lives every day".

Mr Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook while a student at Harvard University in 2004. It now has more than 500 million users worldwide and employs more than 1,700 people.

In a statement, Mr Zuckerberg said the Time award was "a real honour and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I'm happy to be a part of that."

Mr Zuckerberg, estimated to be worth $6.9bn (£4.4bn), is one of the richest people in the US, and earlier this month he became one of the latest billionaires to pledge to give away the majority of his wealth.

He is one of 17 new people to support a group, founded by Bill Gates and his wife along with Warren Buffett, which encourages America's wealthiest to publicly promise to donate to charity.

Controversial winners

The Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) title is awarded by the magazine's editors to the figure deemed to have had the most influence on world events that year - not necessarily in a positive way.

Hitler, Stalin and the Ayatollah Khomeini have all won in the past.

In recent years, the title has gone to less controversial figures. In 2009 US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke won it, while US President Barack Obama won it the year before.



Related Articles:

Breaking News on EFF Victory: Appeals Court Holds that Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment News

eff.org, by Kevin Bankston, December 14TH, 2010

In a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.

EFF filed a similar amicus brief with the 6th Circuit in 2006 in a civil suit brought by criminal defendant Warshak against the government for its warrantless seizure of his emails. There, the 6th Circuit agreed with EFF that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected expectation of privacy in the email they store with their email providers, though that decision was later vacated on procedural grounds. Warshak's appeal of his criminal conviction has brought the issue back to the Sixth Circuit, and once again the court has agreed with EFF and held that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their email accounts.

As the Court held today,

"Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication [like postal mail and telephone calls], it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection.... It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve.... [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call--unless they get a warrant, that is. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber's emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement...."

Today's decision is the only federal appellate decision currently on the books that squarely rules on this critically important privacy issue, an issue made all the more important by the fact that current federal law--in particular, the Stored Communications Act--allows the government to secretly obtain emails without a warrant in many situations. We hope that this ruling will spur Congress to update that law as EFF and its partners in the Digital Due Process coalition have urged, so that when the government secretly demands someone's email without probable cause, the email provider can confidently say: "Come back with a warrant."

Related Articles: